Are your data driven?

Ensuring your competitive advantage for tomorrow

Playing yesterday's marketing game

The quote above was from a community banking marketing exec. Faced with mounting competition and an increased goal for deposit growth, the rug got pulled out.

Ultimately, the boss felt the naming rights were a better investment. It was tangible. They could see it.

But they couldn’t measure it. And pulling the resources from their marketing and analytics team took away the option of any kind of lift study to even approximate the impact.

Two seasons later, they still don’t know if it was worth doing.

So why did this happen? It certainly wasn’t the skill or reputation of the marketing executive of their team. It wasn’t even the logic of the argument or the well-developed business case.

It was faith.

The exec team had more faith in their gut, specifically the CEO’s gut. They weren’t as sure they could capitalize on the insights data would provide. It wasn’t part of their culture.

So how to get ahead of a similar fate at your institution? First, take the temperature of the room. Are discussions rooted in facts and real examples? Are decisions made or arguments settled on anecdotes? Are data and analysis met with skepticism or dismissal?

If that is the case, you’ll have to ask yourself, is this a culture and leadership environment that will respond to dissent? If not, if you feel like any effort at change would be wasted, then maybe it’s time to find a new home. A place that is looking to not only get by but get ahead and win in this more competitive market.

However, if you think you can make an impact where you are, instilling a data-driven approach to strategy is a good start.

In any effort to drive this agenda, avoid the mistake of making it a technology discussion. This is about decision-making, with some technology. Getting your leaders onboard is more about the organization making better quality and faster decisions. It is a visible way to become more agile and smarter than the competition.

From there, it becomes a process of instilling an appreciation of data and data literacy skills in your organization.

A few resources to get you started.

Leading an organization like this can be difficult. It requires much more than technical skills. You must have empathy for those you lead and the ability to clearly present a vision of a better future.

But even small successes can have very big impacts. The future of community banking is being written by people like you. Your organization, and the communities you serve, need you to lead and bring them the better tomorrow they need and deserve.

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